From Stagnant to Growth – Set Some Goals

We must grow!  Feeling our bodies becoming healthier.  Feeling our minds expanding.  Feeling like we are beating away our fears.  These feelings are what I consider growth.

What happens when we do not get this feeling?  Well, I can tell you how I feel.  Stagnant.  Lost.  Severe confusion.  Then, I fail to act because I have limited fuel to power me.  Surprisingly, the feeling of being lost is extremely draining.

How can we overcome this feeling?  We must set a new goal we know we can achieve.  If you are severely drained, then the goal might have to be extremely easy.  For example, going for a walk is a good goal.  The walk allows the environment to change and with new stimuli come new thoughts and feelings.  Or, writing down the fact you are lost and that you will begin brainstorming ways to get going again is an easy step.  Make your goal to choose a goal.  A last option might be to make your goal reviewing your goals.  Seek the motivation.

The one aspect of goal achieving I largely fail to do is to measure my progress.  If you do not measure, then you will not know if you are growing.  I am trying to think of ways to measure my goals for students.  I am failing in this aspect.

But, now I know my next step!

Escaping the Pit of Pessimism

I’ve been in a pit of pessimism lately.  I feel like I am alone. I feel insignificant.  I feel like trying is fruitless.  I feel like people don’t notice me.  We all experience these feelings from time to time.  But, what causes us to experience this feeling?  Where do these feelings grow?  Under what conditions enable us to have them?

Expectations.  Expectations with tough, out-of-my-control obstacles.  My pit of pessimism is just a grown-up version of a tantrum.  I am not getting what I want when I want it!  It’s funny viewing it from this perspective.  Here are some of my recent expectations digging the pit.

  • My students behaving because I am nice to them.
  • The “why” to teach something will be extremely obvious.
  • My students being able to perform experiments independently.
  • My necessity of being present at the science fair.

Each of these expectations are not in my control.  For example, I can’t control my students’ behavior for they live their own lives.  A set-in-stone purpose doesn’t exist for emotions cause purpose and we experience different emotions.  And, I can’t control the person who allowed my students to sign in and register without me at the science fair.  How can we avoid this pit of pessimism?

One thing that just worked for me (literally) was realizing I could not control these expectations.  I can influence, yes, but I cannot control.  Being mindful of what we can and cannot strongly influence would help avoid this feeling.  A second idea is to think about what gains we’ve made in getting closer to our expected outcome.  I will wrap this post up by doing just that.

My students speak to me openly which happens when they trust me.

I am conscious of the need of having a reason to learn something.

Some of my students have designed their own experiments.

I went to my first science fair as a mentor.

What have you achieved that gets you closer to one of your own expectations/goals/values?